As young people mature, the decisions they make have an enormous impact on their families, their communities and our world. But growing up surrounded by poverty, war or in the aftermath of disaster increases their risks and limits their choices.
That's why giving children and youth the right support at this most critical time is essential to building tomorrow’s strong, productive communities.
When disaster strikes, young children are especially vulnerable to developing emotional and social problems that can jeopardize their futures. Mercy Corps worked with experts to design our signature Comfort for Kids program that helps children process their trauma and recover through play, sports and art activities. See our expert's recommendations for how parents and caregivers can help children through times of crisis ▸
For adolescents faced with violence, early marriage and interruptions to schooling, we provide opportunities for community involvement, vocational training and life skills development. Our goal is to empower youth in the toughest places to make smart life choices and invest their energy in developing solutions to their countries’ biggest challenges.
All stories about Children & Youth
Kyrgyzstan: Getting creative with nutrition for Kyrgyz kindergarteners
Colombia: Video: Kids enjoy peace for one day in Santander
The kids from our southern Santander, Colombia alternative classrooms are rural poor: their parents work their small plots of land, too often sacrificing their kids' education for help with crops and chores.
Uganda: The resilence of children
Today I learned about the true resilience of children.
Jordan: Jordan's Queen visits Mercy Corps disability-rights project
Jordan's Queen Rania recently visited a school where we're helping mainstream children with disabilities.
Zimbabwe: Shipping books to Zimbabwe schools
It's hard to learn in Africa's schools without a basic textbook. A recent UNICEF study in Zimbabwe reported there can be as few as one textbook for as many as 40 students in schools there — if there are any textbooks at all.
Indonesia: Meeting the survivors
Last Friday afternoon, as half of Mercy Corps' Healthy Start team were preparing for the weekend, we were suddenly pulled into a rush meeting at the round table we share.
Indonesia: Ask me, and I will follow you down
How do you recognize a midwife who's already trained to be a breastfeeding counselor? And who do you ask about breastfeeding if you go to puskesmas, local health facilities around Indonesia?
Indonesia: A dedication to her profession
Ibu Lilis Ratnasari, a private midwife, received a 40-hour training in lactation counseling through the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF about a year ago.
Sri Lanka: A can-do spirit
Nalagama Sinhala Junior School operates on something less than a shoestring. There's no library, no computers, no science lab. Recently, the older students performed a chemistry experiment involving oxygen using a plastic bucket rather than a glass beaker.
West Bank and Gaza: CNN's 'generation Islam' puts youth in the lead